The United Kingdom wished Israel happy 75th Independence Day this week. The UK stated that Israel and the UK were “extremely close” allies who stand together against the threat of Iran and the “wider scourge of antisemitism.”
The UK embassy in Israel released a short video with its embassy staff wishing Israel “Yom Ha’atzmaut Samech”, a Happy Indepdence Day.
Israel celebrates the day according to the Jewish calendar, whereas the date according to the Gregorian calendar is 14th May, meaning we will be celebrating this day again in a couple weeks time.
— UK in Israel 🇬🇧 (@ukinisrael) April 26, 2023
The British embassy in Tel Aviv also issued a statement, saying the UK is “proud to be linked to Israel’s thriving technology industry – from cybersecurity, fintech, and healthcare, to energy and climate tech. UK companies have established partnerships and collaborations with Israeli companies in the tech sector.”
The embassy noted that over 400 Israeli technology firms have set up offices and operations in the UK, more than in any other European country. Trade between the UK and Israel reached over £7 billion annually in 2022, making Israel one of the UK’s most important trading partners.
“For the past 75 years, the UK has been clear about Israel’s right to exist and is unequivocal in supporting Israeli security and right to self-defence, in the face of threats from its neighbours, particularly Iran. The UK has often stood at the UN defending Israel against unwarranted and disproportionate criticism,” the embassy said.
As has come to be expected in these instances, the UK had to touch upon the wider Israel-Palestinian conflict. The UK reiterated its support for the so-called “two-state solution” and spoke of a future where Israel and the Palestinians would be “living side by side in peace and security.”
The embassy claimed its policy “is a fulfilment of the Balfour Declaration but also results from a sincere belief that lasting security for Israel – preserving its Jewish and democratic character – requires a solution that offers equal rights and dignity for both Israelis and Palestinians,” the statement said.
UK’s Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly, also issued a statement, saying the “strong ties between the UK and Israel over the past 75 years is a testament to the strength of our close and historic relationship.”
Last month the UK and Israel signed the 2030 roadmap for UK-Israel bilateral relations last month, which includes a new £20 million Scientific and Innovation programme, funded by both governments.
At CUFI UK, we welcome the warm greetings from our government towards Israel. We hope that our government will go further in supporting Israel and move away from the failed policies it continues to cling to.
The UK has a long way to go before it truly acts as Israel’s friend and ally. This includes the need for the UK to hold Palestinian leaders to account and truly stand with Israel against the threat of Iran.
This year, we want to do more to bless Israel and the Jewish people.
We know that as we bless Israel this year, God will bless us, just as He promised in Genesis 12:3, “I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Now is the time to bless Israel and the Jewish people.